First, there was a lot of speculation. Then the world got its answer in 3am SMS text messages this morning. Barack Obama has selected Joe Biden, the Delaware Senator, as his running mate in the race to the White House. Here's a quick review of what bloggers from around the world have to say about the selection – and how it will impact their countries’ relations with the US should the pair make it to the Oval Office.
And does Obama score brownie points with having Biden as his running mate with the Jewish voters? Following are some reactions from Israel.
Naked Israeli's Weblog is stoked.
I am totally stoked that Obamaâ€™s Vice President is Senator Joseph Biden…Biden has been a good friend to Israel and the Soviet Jewry movement. That should quell the Jewish critics of Obama. He is not perfect on abortion but okay. He did establish the 1994 Violence Against Women Act.
Patriot Missive, from Israel, links to an interview with Shalom TV in which Biden confesses that he is a Zionist. She notes:
Obamaâ€™s choice in a veep is more calculating than I suspected. Does this mean they actually have a chance with the Jewish vote?
Donâ€™t count on it
In another post, Ms Missive says it is only a matter of time before Biden grabs the headlines with scandals of his own.
Iâ€™m guessing itâ€™ll be less than 48 hours before scandals or scrutinies (real or imaginary) of Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Biden are jammed into our faces.
Among them are:
Military service record: At the height of the Vietnam war in 1968, Biden was prime for the draft at 26 years old but was rejected for â€œmedical reasonsâ€œ. Iâ€™m sure details of his rejection will become clearer in the following weeks. It should be noted that his son, Beau Biden, has orders to deploy to Iraq on October 3rd, 2008 with his Delaware National Guard JAG unit. Will his son bring a balance for the senior Bidenâ€™s lack of military record?
Biden supported the Bush Administration post 9/11and voted in favor of the Iraq invasion. Flip-flopping. Our favorite campaign hyphenation.
In 1988, Bidden was caught plagiarizing several lines from the speech of Neil Kinnock, then British Labor party leader.
And still in Israel, Simply Jews warns:
Joe Biden, Beau Biden, Jill Biden, Ashley Biden, …
Now watch the tabloids. It has started…
Meanwhile, Iranian Omid Memarian, who lives in the US, says Biden's Foreign Policy experience speaks for itself as being different from McCain's.
Finally Barack Obama, announced his VP last night, a man who is well known mostly for his credentials in foreign policy. Although, Senator McCain and Senator Biden, both embrace a long time involvement in FP issues, they do have separate and fundamentally different styles.
Turkey Talk agrees that Biden has been selected thanks to his massive foreign policy experience. The blogger, who voices his concern about Biden's stance towards Turkey and the Armenian genocide, adds:
Delaware Senator Joe Biden will be Barack Obama's running mate. That's all we need, another senator. No Governors (the Executive Branch remember???) yet…
For the first time in a long time, both of the presidential candidates are senators.
Among Turkey Talk‘s other concerns are:
… but Biden comes across as an arrogant SOB whenever I've seen him chair his committee and ask questions of witnesses whose very presence he dislikes, obviously always playing to the cameras . . . he's not someone who takes a back seat very easily . . . and he may overshadow the ticket . . .
Writing at the Review of Cuban-American Blog, Manuel A. Tellechea is at a loss as to why Biden was selected. He writes:
It would have made no sense for Barack Obama to pick an even bigger political lightweight as his vice presidential running mate (if such a creature could be found). Joe Biden has been in the senate since Barack Obama was 11 years old. His 36 years of experience there dwarfs Obama's 3. To say that this ticket is the most lopsided in American history is to put it mildly. If Biden had been the nominee it is doubtful that he would have picked Obama as his vice president. No Democratic senator except Hillary Clinton has been as vociferous in pointing out Obama's lack of qualifications for the presidency. Even when Biden tried to say something nice about the junior senator from Illinois, this is the best that he could manage: “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, thatâ€™s a storybook man.”
Telechea further describes Biden as a ‘loose cannon':
He is the Democratic Party's biggest loose cannon and seems congenitally incapable of opening his mouth without demeaning himself or his party. Even more than Obama, Biden is in love with his own words. But, unlike Obama, he doesn't need to have words spoonfed to him by a teleprompter. He is as naturally loquacious as Obama is inarticulate. Speaking gibberish has served Obama in good stead by concealing his very real vacuousness. The last thing that Obama needs is for someone like Biden to set lyrics to his tune.
Croatian Bojan, who lives in Canada also wonders what Biden brings to the table. He writes:
So far, I have refrained from commenting on the foolishness that is the American presidential primary season, but I see that Obama (who I liked) has picked himself an old white guy for a running mate. Way to usher in the age of change and hope.
Indian Sunny, writing at Pickled Politics, says Biden is a good choice for Obama. He explains:
Biden will be a good attack-dog, he has strong foreign-policy credentials, and heâ€™s a strong Democrat. Heâ€™s also older and a Catholic which, according to Michael Tomasky, will help with those constituencies. Who am I to disagree?
From Thailand, Jotman is happy with the nomination. He writes:
In my estimation, Barack Obama could not have picked a better running mate in his bid for the American presidency.